A serious car accident can cause catastrophic damage to you or a loved one. When severe damage occurs to the neck or spinal cord, injuries may also be accompanied by full or partial paralysis.
Depending on the severity of the injuries, lifelong treatment and rehabilitation may be needed to restore bodily function. You may also require assistive walking devices, such as canes or wheelchairs, as well as other treatments. In some cases, function cannot be restored. Healthline explains the effects of paralysis.
Localized vs. generalized
When paralysis is localized it only affects one specific body part. Generalized paralysis affects numerous body parts at once, and there are different types depending on which body parts are affected. When both legs are paralyzed, it is called paraplegia, while quadriplegia impacts both arms and legs. There is also hemiplegia, which occurs when an arm and leg are paralyzed on the same side of your body.
Flaccid vs. spastic
Paralysis also varies in the way it affects your muscles. With flaccid paralysis, muscle fibers experience shrinkage, which causes weakness. The spastic type causes a reverse effect. In this case, muscles become hardened which can lead to twitching and spasms.
Partial vs. complete
In addition to the different areas of the body that can be paralyzed, the amount of control you have over affected body parts also varies. If your paralysis is partial, you will still be able to control the parts of your body that were impacted. With complete paralysis, you will be unable to move or control the areas of the body that are paralyzed.